When and Why an Adult Should Take a Hearing Test
There are plenty of medical tests that are recommended for adults to take, with some being more common than others. One you may not have pursued before this point is a hearing test. Hearing tests are often thought of for those with hearing loss and unnecessary for anyone else. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Just like with so many other tests, there is a preventative aspect involved. Let’s take a look at when and why an adult should take a hearing test.
It’s More Often Than You May Have Thought
Here’s something that may come as a surprise but did you know doctors recommend that healthy adults, who aren’t experiencing any issues with their hearing, still get tested once every 10 years? Once you hit the age of 50, testing should increase to once every three years. The reason it increases after the age of 50 is that hearing loss becomes more common as a person ages. By the time they reach 65 years old, about 30% of people have some sort of hearing loss.
Why Should You Get Tested if Your Hearing Is “Fine”?
For many adults, the question is, why get tested if you can hear fine? Hearing loss isn’t always going to be severe and quick. In fact, in most cases hearing loss is gradual. It can be so gradual that you’re not even aware it’s happening. Think of a hearing test as a preventative measure, as it’s something everyone should do regardless of how they are feeling.
What Are the Common Symptoms of Hearing Loss?
Curious about the common symptoms to watch for that could signal you are starting to lose your hearing? As stated, it can be very gradual and slight making the symptoms hard to pick up on. Generally speaking though, it can include such things as needing to turn the radio up higher in the car, listening to the TV on a louder setting than you used to, having a hard time hearing others when in a crowded or busy environment, asking people to repeat what they’ve said, not hearing clearly on the phone, or even hearing a low humming, buzzing, or high-pitched sound.
Of course, if you were to suffer from an injury that causes hearing loss, the symptoms would be noticeable right away and likely more pronounced.
Hearing Loss Can Lead to Secondary Issues
While you may not think gradual hearing loss is a big deal it can lead to secondary issues that aren’t medical. When a person has a hard time hearing and understanding others, it can cause them to feel isolated, lonely, and even depressed. You may stop visiting with friends and attending crowded venues simply because you can’t hear. Becoming withdrawn will have emotional ramifications.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss can be caused by different factors. Some of the most common ones are an extreme build-up of wax that blocks the ear canal, inner ear damage, which can also be caused by aging, an ear infection left untreated, a ruptured eardrum, a tumor, or an abnormal bone growth in the middle or outer ear. Only a doctor will be able to properly diagnose the issue and then discuss a treatment plan.
What Happens in a Hearing Test?
If you’ve never had a hearing test before, it’s only natural to feel a bit nervous. Nerves and stress tend to build when you’re not familiar with a situation. The good news is that hearing tests are very simple and tend to take no more than 30 minutes. The test will examine your ability to hear low and high-pitched sounds, loud and quiet sounds, and then test each ear separately. Hearing loss doesn’t necessarily occur in both ears, so it’s important to isolate the problem.
There is no pain involved in the test, and it will be done in a special room that is soundproof so there aren’t any distractions. The results are so specific that they will determine how much hearing loss you have. When your doctor determines your hearing loss it can range from mild to profound.
Another option is to do an online hearing test, like the one you can find here at phonak.com/us/en/online-hearing-test.html, to assess your hearing abilities. An online test can provide you with guidance, so you know if you should schedule an appointment or not.
Don’t Neglect the Health of Your Ears
Hearing tests aren’t exactly something people talk about, and many don’t even realize how important the test is. Waiting until you have profound hearing loss isn’t advisable, as these tests can highlight red flags and ensure you get the treatment you need, such as a hearing aid. So if you’re an adult, and you’ve never had a hearing test done, now is the time to do so.
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